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Judge Terrence Evans Dead at 71

By Robyn Hagan Cain | Last updated on

Seventh Circuit Judge Terrence Evans died from idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and acute respiratory distress syndrome last week at the University of Chicago Medical Center. He was 71.

Judge Evans, a native of Milwaukee, Wis., received his BA and JD from Marquette University. After graduation, he clerked for Justice Horace Wilkie on the Wisconsin Supreme Court before working both in private practice and as a district attorney. He had served on the federal bench since 1980.

Judge Evans was appointed to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in 1995, and entered semi-retirement as a senior judge in 2009. Seventh Circuit Chief Judge Frank Easterbrook said that Judge Evans maintained a substantial caseload even in senior status.

Dennis McBride, a senior trial attorney with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and one of Judge Evans's first law clerks, remembered the judge as a gentlemen and scholar whose tone always matched the context of the case. "Sometimes the context called for humor, and he obliged with a dry wit to deflate lawyers and parties who were puffed up with self-importance," McBride told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Judge Evans appreciated the ingenuity in creating a unique college mascot, ("Imagine the fear in the hearts of opponents who travel [to UC-Santa Cruz] to face the imaginatively named "Banana Slugs"), the ubiquitous roll of toilet paper in everyday life, (yes, that pun was intended), and the distinction between a "hoe" and a "ho."

We are truly saddened to learn of Judge Evans's passing. Here at FindLaw, we will particularly miss his humor and willingness to dive into rap vernacular in the interest of justice.

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals will host a formal memorial service for Judge Evans in the coming months.

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